My child has complex needs

My child has complex needs

Early years support for children under five
Some children have difficulties in their development and need some additional help and support, there is a range of support available.

Early education and childcare
There are many organisations and groups offering early education and childcare. These include day nurseries, preschools, nursery schools and childminders.

All early education providers must operate under the Early Years Foundation Stage. This means they are obliged to consider the specific needs of each child they look after in order to provide appropriate support. There is a guide designed to help you understand your rights to free childcare for disabled children.

Identifying and supporting children with SEN
If you are worried about any aspect of your child’s development speak to your health visitor, GP or someone at your local children’s centre.

If your child attends an early education setting, (such as a day nursery, pre-school or childminder) speak to your child’s key person. They are there to help and will also be aware of your child’s learning, development and care.

Health and developmental reviews
Every one year old and two year old child should be offered a health check. The check is an opportunity to discuss your child’s development with a member of the health service.

All two year olds attending an early education setting will have an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) progress check. Your child’s key person (in the setting) will meet with you to discuss your child’s development and you will plan together how to help and support your child. If additional advice or support is needed this can be sought as early as possible.

Sometimes children are born with or develop complex illnesses or disabilities. Help can be found through the local offer or the Disabled Children's Service. Call AccessPoint on 020 8770 4690, email or look at the website


Playwise is a (term time) home visiting educational service for pre-school children who have special needs/disability. It offers a flexible and fun approach to learning. Playwise ensures that parents are supported in how to help their child best. In partnership with parents the Portage worker will assess the needs of the child, build upon the abilities the child has already acquired, and teach the skills the child has yet to learn. Playwise show you how to make learning enjoyable and successful and offers parents the opportunity to discuss and plan their child’s development. Playwise also offers a link with the transition from home to pre-school.

We work in partnership with parents and directly with their child to assess and teach across all areas of a child’s development.

We visit the family home on a fortnightly basis during term time until the child’s third birthday. We support families with paperwork and referrals as appropriate and can attend appointments with a family if that benefits.

Sutton Playwise service also offers a range of groups that families can attend for more support as well as having the opportunity to meet other parents.